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Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project (ARP), Final Report

A new report describes findings about unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan. A multidisciplinary team investigated the situation and found a number of effective and sustainable responses and ways to prevent the problem from recurring.

The team found several underlying “risk factors” that contributed to the large quantity of unsubmitted SAKs in Detroit, including:

  1. Victim-blaming beliefs and behaviors by police.
  2. No written protocol for submitting kits to the lab for testing.
  3. Budget cuts that reduced the number of law enforcement and crime lab personnel.
  4. High turnover in police leadership.
  5. Lack of community-based victim advocacy services.

The final report gives a detailed look at their experience, including lessons learned from performing a census of SAKs, uncovering factors that contributed to the problem, testing of a sample of 1,600 kits, and developing victim-centered, trauma-informed notification protocols.

A systematic review of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration

This systematic review examined 140 outcome evaluations of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration. The review had two goals: 1) to describe and assess the breadth, quality, and evolution of evaluation research in this area; and 2) to summarize the best available research evidence for sexual violence prevention practitioners by categorizing programs with regard to their evidence of effectiveness on sexual violence behavioral outcomes in a rigorous evaluation. It found two primary prevention programs and a policy initiative with strong evidence of effectiveness for reducing rates of sexually violent behavior:

  • Safe Dates
  • Shifting Boundaries, building-level intervention; and
  • The 1994 U.S. Violence Against Women Act.
  • Other approaches with a focus on bystander training and healthy relationships are also promising

Read NSVRC Key Findings for preventionists.

 

 

Reshape: Creating a Space for Male Survivors

In the January 2014 edition of the Reshape newsletter, Eric Stiles discusses the practice of creating sensitive and informed spaces for men and boys accessing services at sexual assault programs. Using trauma-informed strategies and the practice of meeting survivors where they are at, he promotes gender inclusive spaces and programming.

Read the article.

Reshape: Enhancing Male Outreach Efforts, One Center at a Time

In the January 2014 edition of the Reshape newsletter, Emiliano Diaz de Leon discusses how state coalitions can strategically do outreach to men and boys and increase the capacity of local centers to do the same. He discusses technical assistance approaches, capacity building education ideas, and strategies for raising awareness.

Read the article.